Under the Volcano
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A strange, hallucinatory adaptation of the Malcolm Lowry novel of the same name, John Huston's bleak drama is set during the Mexican "Day of the Dead" ceremony in 1939. Albert Finney stars as Geoffrey Firmin, the booze-besotted former British consul to Cuernevarca, who has cut himself off from his loved ones, the better to drink himself to death while surrounded by all manner of skull-and-skeleton decorations. At the urging of his wife Yvonne (Jacqueline Bisset), his half-brother Hugh (Anthony Andrews) goes on a "heart of darkness" search for his missing sibling.… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Although this voyage into self-destruction won't be to the taste of many, there will be few unmoved by Finney's towering performance as the tragic Britisher."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Daring as it is to have brought Under the Volcano to the screen in this faithful but incomplete form, Mr. Huston has done so without making compromises in the process."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"John Huston's version of Malcolm Lowry's dense, poetic unfilmable book is ambitious but only semi-effective in conveying this cult novel's tone; it's ultimately saved by the towering performance of Albert Finney as the alcoholic self-destructive consul"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A supremely difficult book becomes an easy film, and struggles hard to find a reason to exist."
‑ , Film4
"Not for the purists, maybe, but the last half-hour, as Firmin plunges ever deeper into his self-created hell, leaves one shell-shocked."
‑ , Time Out
"As the tortured consul, Albert Finney has moments of technical brilliance, but Huston's direction gives him no inner life."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The result is very much worth the wait, bringing to life the mysticism of Mexico with a superb script by Guy Gallo, exquisite photography, and the unparalleled performance by Finney."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The movie belongs to Finney, but mention must be made of Jacqueline Bisset as his wife and Anthony Andrews as his half-brother."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Succeeds in capturing the novel's sense of doom and gets a tour de force performance from Albert Finney."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Captures and conveys the hot music of what some literary critics have called the greatest religious novel of the twentieth century"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for Under the Volcano on Rotten Tomatoes